What is Bitcoin cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency has become the fastest-growing segment of the global financial world. Anyone who bought cryptocurrency before 2017 will have made astronomical gains.

But cryptocurrency trading has also drawn criticism - apart from the association of money laundering, susceptibility to hacking, fraud and theft, governments and central banks worry about loss of control over regulation and money supply if virtual currency were to become the norm.

But love it, fear it, hate it, cryptocurrency is set to become a part of the new world economy in the 21st century.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline What is Bitcoin cryptocurrency?. Subscribe